Hope was diminishing for the Minnesota Twins when the Kansas City Royals rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth inning. The 'Dome was as quiet as I have ever heard a 48,000+ crowd be following the tying run crossing the plate on Nick Punto's decision to take the double play rather than throwing home.
All was set following Jon Rauch getting the final out of the eighth inning for a dramatic ending, and that's what exactly happened.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Michael Cuddyer strutted up to the plate and was planning on a pitching change to face a right-handed reliever. That did not happen. Dusty Hughes was left out to dry against Cuddyer and manager Trey Hillman didn't even hesitate.
Questionable at the very least, Cuddyer ended up drilling a 2-0 pitch into the "Home Run Porch" for a 5-4 Twins lead.
Joe Nathan finished off the game with in spectacular fashion with a little help from Twins utility outfielder, Denard "Super" Span. He made a great catch for the second out of the inning on a sinking line drive off the bat of Alberto Callaspo.
All in all, it was up to the Detroit Tigers at that point, who knew the results prior to their game. In a lackluster offensive performance, they managed only one run in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
It all sets up for that magical moment in the Metrodome that I have been pining for. After splitting earlier this week with the Tigers, I had a feeling it could come down to this, with the pitching matchups developing in the form they have.
We got it Minnesota. One of the greatest five days in Minneapolis sports history could be witnessed right in front of our eyes. Enjoy it while it lasts.
*Psst...The Wild and Gophers really put a nix on what could have been an even better season. Brewster, beat one of our rivals, please! We'll have to rely on the Vikings and Twins for more intrigue.